Cindy Thomas, May 16, 2016
This recipe is intriguing in that it only has a few ingredients and most of them are for the tart dough! The filling for this tart is made with dragèes…which are candy coated almonds, also known as jordan almonds. These sweet almonds are often found as party favors for weddings and baby showers. I had forgotten how yummy they are. I bought what I needed for this recipe, but ended up going back to the store for more jordan almonds because my family ate most of them! My kids had never tasted them before. I love how colorful they look.
This recipe is pretty simple, yet I had some difficulty with it. More about that later.
The tart dough is made ahead of time. It is a pâte brisée, which means it is an unsweetened dough. After the dough is chilled for at least an hour it is rolled out, pressed in the pan, chilled again and then baked.
Now for the fun part!
My teenager (who is now an avid fan of jordan almonds!), volunteered to coarsely crush the almonds for me.
Next the candied almonds are combined with cream in a pan and brought to a gentle boil over medium heat.
This mixture is cooked until it is reduced by half and has reached a temperature of 230 degrees Fahrenheit. It should become thick and creamy. I followed these instructions, but in retrospect I should have cooked mine a bit longer. I wish the instructions had been more specific about how long this process should take.
After the mixture has cooled, it is poured into the tart shell and refrigerated for 4 to 5 hours.
Finally, the tart is topped with a few more crushed dragées.
Mimi describes the cream filling as setting into a thick paste. Mine was still a bit runny after 5 hours, so I refrigerated it overnight. Guess what? It still didn’t set up well the next day. I opted to freeze it before serving it, which worked pretty well. It tasted amazing and was a bit like a soft, sweet almond ice cream tart! It was kind of messy, but at least it wasn’t a total failure. If I make this again I will definitely cook the filling longer.
This recipe can be found in Mimi Thorisson’s cookbook: A Kitchen in France
If you’re interested in joining the Weekends in a French Kitchen group or just want to see how the other members of the group fared with this recipe check out this link: WIFK